NN: What is your writing process?
CY: Since I’m more plotter than pantser, I spend a lot of time preparing before I get to the first draft. This usually involves:
Character biographies that give an idea of their story paths, personalities, and physical descriptions. I get a lot of subplot ideas from this.
Key object, monster, location, and process descriptions to help with world-building.
Plot overview that gives me an idea of the story’s progression.
Finally, an outline that incorporates all of the above. For a series, I do the outlines for every book to help with foreshadowing and continuity.
Once all of that has been done, I’ll take break and then return to the outline to clean it up. Then comes the first draft and I immediately go for the next outline to adjust it for any changes that happened during the writing. As much planning as I do, I leave a lot of wiggle room for spontaneous changes. For example, one story I wrote had a monster that I was only going to use once. I loved how it came out and made it a main character after it’s debut. This required going back to the outline and noting where he could make future appearances.
NN: Do you have any odd writing habits?
CY: I write in Present Tense Third Person style, which one could say is a really odd habit. I used to mix my tenses up a lot in high school, but a teacher sat me down to solve the problem. She said I had to pick one or the other. Since my stories were images in my head, I thought Present Tense was the obvious choice. It would be about 18 years later that I learned it isn’t a common style. Aside from that, I can’t write in total silence and need music. It’s a habit that was developed from doing homework with music playing to drown out the other noises of the house.
NN: Have you always liked to write?
CY: I’ve always enjoyed writing, but I spent a good chunk of my life not pursuing. I fell in love with the written word and storytelling at the age of 7 by designing joke and animal books during free time. Instead of nurturing this, I let myself get redirected to the subjects I was weak in and put my writing aside as a hobby until I was about 15. I had been imagining stories and doing creative writing projects in school whenever I saw an opening. I read Books of Lost Swords by Fred Saberhagen and realized that I had it in me to create a fantasy world too. I haven’t stopped writing since then.
NN: What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
CY:Have fun and be yourself. If you’re enjoying what you’re writing then that will come through. The best way to have fun is to write what you want to write instead of letting others tell you what to do.
NN: Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
CY: I read my reviews, but I don’t respond to them. I used to when I started and stopped after a few incidents. Even being nice and trying to discuss the story with someone who left a negative can be seen as an attack, so it’s best to read and see if you can learn from your mistakes. With negative reviews, I consider if a person has a point and try to improve. If I disagree or there isn’t much to go by then I accept that you can’t please everybody.
NN: Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?
CY: I don’t think I’ll ever write an actual sex scene or erotica. For some reason, I just don’t have it in me to do it. When I’ve tried, I either get uncomfortable or giggle like an idiot, which ruins the scene. I can do the innuendo, flirting, kissing, emotions, and afterglow parts, but the actual sex feels plain weird to write about.
NN: Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?)
CY: War of Nytefall: Loyalty is the first book of a new series. Prior to this, I’ve written several other books. They include the Legends of Windemere fantasy adventure series, Life and Times of Ichabod Brooks a fantasy short story collection, and The Bedlam Series an R-Rated dystopian adventure series.
And now for more personal questions …
NN: Do you write naked?
CY: They frown upon such things at the public library. Even home, I’m working either near a window or a mirror. Best for me to wear as many layers as weather permits.
NN: Have you ever gotten into a fight?
CY: If we’re counting fencing matches then yes. If not then only verbal ones with the family.
NN: Do you drink? Smoke? What’s your vice?
CY: I drink every now and then, but not to the point where I get sick. I have to stick to liquor since beer doesn’t agree with me any more. The higher price makes it a rare treat. So, I’d have to say my most constant vice is pizza. The day that becomes $35 for a slice is the day I start crying for eternity.
NN: What is your biggest fear?
CY: Not being able to tell all the stories that I have in my head. I feel like I wasted so much time playing the ‘someone will discover you game’ while doing office and retail jobs. Everyone told me that you keep submitting your book and someone will take you on, but I rarely got a response. It was only 5 years ago that I finally took the plunge into self-publishing, so I have this big fear that I dragged my feet and missed my opportunity. (Also, I’m afraid of spiders, sharks, alligators, and crocodiles.)
NN: If you had a superpower, what would it be?
CY: Telekinesis because you can imitate other powers if used creatively. That and I wouldn’t have to go walking around to get things. Just have the water bottle or snack float out of the kitchen. Oh, I could reach things on the top shelves too. Being a 38-year-old climbing onto the kitchen counter to get at something isn’t as adorable as when an 8-year-old is doing it.
NN: Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?
CY: I’m torn between Greece and Australia. The former because I’ve been inspired by a lot of Greek mythology, so I want to see some of the sites connected to those myths. The latter because of the wildlife, which does go against some of those minor fears I mentioned.
NN: If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
CY: A red panda because they’re cute and have a lot of energy. Yeah, I don’t have any other reason besides that.
NN: Do you have any scars? What are they from?
CY: I have a small scar on my right arm and another on the back of my left wrist. Both came from cooking accidents that involved my pulling something out of the oven and slipping.
NN: What were you like as a child? Your favorite toy?
CY: I was rather energetic as a child and would go running around the backyard all day if I had nothing else to do. I would imagine fighting bad guys or set up toys that I would shoot down with my Super Soaker. Other days I’d grab a pile of books and read on the roof. I will admit that I wasn’t the most social kid, especially when I got older and less interested in team sports.
My favorite toy was a Pound Puppy named Sparky. He’s still around too, but I have to keep him away from my son. He’s too fragile for playing these days.
NN: What do you dream? Do you have any recurring dreams/nightmares?
CY:The strangest thing is that I don’t have any dreams. At least nothing that I can remember, which feels wrong considering my imagination. It’s been suggested that I don’t dream because I do it so much when I’m awake, but I don’t see my brain turning off that completely when I go to bed. There has to be something and I’m simply not remembering it.
Title- War of Nytefall: Loyalty
Author- Charles E. Yallowitz
Genre- Action Adventure Fantasy, Vampire
In the wake of the Great Cataclysm, a new predator will emerge from within Windemere’s shadow. For fifty years, Clyde has been trapped beneath the earth while the vampire kingdom has been gradually losing its war against the Sun God’s followers. Only Mab believes that her partner survived his holy execution and is determined to bring him back to the city of Nyte. Retrieving the vampiric thief is only the beginning as he comes out of the ground stronger, faster, and possessing abilities that their kind have never witnessed throughout their ancient history. Thrown into the war, Clyde must be careful to hide his true nature while fighting alongside his old friends. Too bad he is having so much fun being free that keeping his secret might be the furthest thing from his mind. Will anyone be ready for the inevitable rise of the Dawn Fangs?
“That idiot!” Mab shouts as she leaps forward. She is stopped by Titus catching the end of her cloak and Decker forcefully pinning her to the ground. “Let me go! Don’t you see what’s happening! Clyde had an illusion in the cell and was hiding in the city. He was using his own execution to distract everyone from the theft, but they must have put a teleportation trap on the relic. They must have known about his plan or taken the precaution anyway. Now, he’s exactly where they want him, which is in the middle of that holy nightmare. Let me up, dwarf, because we have to save him.”
“And how do you plan on the three of us getting through that crowd much less defeating so many Duragians?” Decker asks as she struggles to hold onto the enraged woman. Having no other choice, he snaps Mab’s lower back and breaks her arms to prevent her from escaping. “I’m really sorry that I had to hurt you, but charging in will get you killed. Clyde wouldn’t want you to be so reckless and don’t try to say otherwise. Besides, even if we could get there, we wouldn’t make it in time. He’ll be dead in the next five minutes and there are too many blood sacks between us and the circle. If you don’t want to watch then we’ll understand and not think any less of you.”
Mab manages to roll onto her back and finds the strength lurch up to slam her forehead into her friend’s slightly bent nose. “Worry about yourself because I’m going to rip your eyes out for what you’re doing. Unlike you two, I refuse to stand by and let him die. He’s rescued all of us time and time again, so why should we fail when he needs us the most?”
“Feels like the earth is shaking,” Titus whispers more to himself than his friends. The ground abruptly lurches to the side as if the hill is having a violent spasm. “What in all of Windemere was that? Is this part of the execution? Maybe Clyde is using his illusions to . . . That’s not Clyde. Tell me you two see this.”
Decker and Mab begrudgingly stop their argument to follow Titus’s gaze, which is locked on the horizon. Ripples of magic run through colorful clouds that are billowing across the sky like they are being pursued by a terrifying predator. Constant explosions shake the land and the wind carries the sound of distant screaming, but nobody can discern any of the words. Cracks of lightning rain down on the landscape, the purple streaks pulverizing whatever they hit. In response, blasts of lava erupt from the earth and punch holes in the rushing storm. People cower as the molten rock returns in a hardened state and crushes those who are not quick enough to get out of the way. Animals run and fly in every direction, the threat so enormous that none of the creatures can figure out where they would be safe. Throughout it all, the executioners continue pulling Clyde apart while the other priests work to put up a barrier that shimmers and sputters around the temple and village. Sensing danger, the three vampires drop to the ground an instant before the holy shield explodes and sends a razor-sharp circle of sunlight across the land. All those too slow to react are sliced in half, but they continue to scream as the twisted magic keeps them alive.
Getting to their feet, the trio cautiously moves closer to the edge of the hill, which is now a sheer cliff devoid of plant life. They watch in horror as the region turns into a rocky landscape with a few patches of trees that grow to twice their natural size. A quake knocks the vampires down and they cling to the earth as an ear-wrenching shriek fills the air. The Duragian temple quivers before the valley floor collapses and every building falls into the ravenous pit. Mab heals her injuries by using most of the blood in her body and scrambles ahead of her friends. She can barely hear Clyde screaming and laughing as the execution circle slides into the water-like dirt along with everyone around it. The surviving mortals struggle to escape, but they are unable to find any handholds that do not break away and send them tumbling into the chaos. With a startling jerk, all of the surrounding hills sink until they are nothing more than small bumps in the earth. By the time the Great Cataclysm has ended, the three vampires are the only ones left in the area and the greatest stronghold of their enemies has been consumed down to the smallest of structures. The only sign that anything once stood in the former valley is a faint glow coming out of a single crack in the dry ground. As the silent minutes pass, the light steadily grows dimmer until it to is nothing more than a memory.
Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CBQXLBV/